Kolkata, January 05: At an inauguration ceremony held at State Secretariat, Mamta Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal unveiled the new logo for the state. The new state logo has the alphabet “B” (for Bengal) written in Bengali script placed in middle in form of a seal, with the Lion Capital of Ashoka (the National Emblem) placed at top.
Describing the moment as historic, the Chief Minister stated that for the first time after independence, the state will have a logo of its own, informing that the logo had been approved by the Centre after being designed in Bengal. She added that henceforth, the logo will be used in official government documents, including letterheads. Incidentally, the logo is the brainchild of the Banerjee, who is an enthusiastic painter and writer herself.
She also stated that the name of the state will be changed from West Bengal to Bangla, and the due process of getting approval from Centre is underway. The CM had also designed the logo for Biswa Bangla, which was exclusively used for promoting the schemes and events of the state government.
However, Mukul Roy, one of the former top members of Trinamool Congress, now defected to BJP, had alleged that the logo was registered under the name of Banerjee’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, an MP himself, reports The Indian Express. The allegation was strongly refuted both by the party and the state government.
Who knew that Bengal monitor lizards and yellow monitor lizards look similar to a rare plant named ‘Hatha Jodi’ which is considered pious by many?
Whoever did, was caught along with their accomplices in what turned out to be one of the biggest international scams in illegal wildlife trade. After police crackdown in the state of Orissa, a huge volume of penises of the above-mentioned species of lizards was discovered.
“Wildlife traffickers have been buying the dried lizard penises and fraudulently selling them online as the original plant has slowly faded away from the country” exclaimed Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). Neil de Cruz of the London-based group, World Animal Protection(WAP) made it clear t that the dried lizard hemipenis looks like two hands joined in prayer which resembles the now extinct “Hatha Jodi” which has a demand among the Asian Diaspora in the UK, other parts of Europe and the US.
“These lizards were being illegally poached from the wild, as poachers caught them in traps and snares in order to remove their genitals usually by slitting their throats or crushing their skulls “indicated scientists at Manchester Metropolitan College.
In yet another instance of renaming places, the state cabinet has passed a proposal to drop ‘West’ from West Bengal and suggested that it should only be named as ‘Bengal’ in English and Banga’ or ‘Bangla’ in Bengali. The move was proposed by Mamta Banerjee government on Tuesday.
In a special assembly session on August 26, the proposal will be mooted which is likely to be cleared. The resolution will then be sent to the centre for approval.
CM Mamta Banerjee complained that the W of West Bengal deprived the state officials of the benefit to speak in the first half of the Parliament. The change in name will raise the state’s alphabetical position from 28th to 4th.
NDTV reported Union Minister Babul Supriyo, who welcomed the proposal, but is not in favor of the name Bongo which is the name of a musical instrument. There was a proposal of name change in 2011 too, led by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. The renaming of the state to “Paschim Banga” didn’t apply.
‘West Bengal’ got its name after independence and partition. The province was divided on religious grounds in which the Muslims formed East Bengal, acceded to Pakistan. Later it separated to form an independent nation of Bangladesh. The prefix of ‘west’ continues to remind the people of the painful partition. But omitting ‘West’ will wipe out the tears.
Also for the first time, Trinamool Congress Party has mutually agreed to support the move along with their opposition.
Unlike the Fiat Padminis in Mumbai, the Ambassadors are not saying adieu. They are simply not kings of the road anymore. With the West Bengal government recently allowing other passenger cars that seat upto five people as cabs, Ambassador has lost its dominant position as the ‘taxi of Kolkata’. According to the vice-chairman of the Regional Transport Authority (RTA), Sabyasachi Bagchi, the state government has decided to open the market to more ‘technologically advanced vehicles’.
This move is a much-awaited one for many other players in the sector such as Maruti and Tata. In fact, Tata Motors launched a version of its Indigo in July at Rs. 4.97 lakh (instead of Rs 5 lakh) specifically for Kolkata. Despite this attractive offer, Tata had not been able to make a dent in this market until now, as taxis other than Ambassadors are generally looked at with distrust in the city of joy. Now any car with an engine capacity of 1,050-1,150 cc can seek registration as a taxi in the state.
The state government has proposed to extend an incentive of Rs 25000 to buyers of new taxis, this gives an additional push in the direction of the others waiting in line to join the taxi bandwagon of Kolkata. Even lobby groups are accepting of this new move, with the general secretary of Bengal Taxi Association, Bimal Kumar Guha voicing appreciation for the choices the would-be taxi owners will receive.
Nostalgia is associated to Ambassadors, toughness is synonymous with it. Before the sadness of this car disappearing from the roads engulfs us, we must ask ourselves, how has a car without bucket seats, inadequate safety measures, and crawling speed lasted so long in our markets and on our roads? Let us pave the way for the Maruti Dzires and Tata Indigos to take over the roads of Kolkata. They are yours too now.
Despite all the odds, criticisms, scams and allegations of an unruly government, it’s all green at the Bengal Panchayat elections in what seemed to be the first real test for TMC, ever since coming to power back in 2011. Having won 13 out of 17 zilla parishads, it might add up 3 more to their tally if they ally with Congress again.
Jalpaiguri is the only zlla parishad that the Left has managed to win though they are tied in 16 all with Congress, at Malda where the TMC has managed just 6. Similar is the case at North Dinajpur where the Left has 13 but cannot form the parishad alone without help from Congress which has 8 seats to 5 seats of TMC. Nadia was another district where the Left marginally failed to have it in their grasp.
Murshidabad, the stronghold for Adhir Chaudhary is the only place the Congress can boast of their existence. Besides the mammoth success in the zila parishads, the ruling party of Bengal also captured 213 out of 329 panchayat samities and 1763 out of 3215 gram panchayat seats.
However it wasn’t all clean as there were reports that around 6250 seats which went unopposed where the TMC are accused of terror tactics alleged both by the Left and the Congress.
The Indian porn industry seems to be facing competition from an unlikely quarter. Mamata Banerjee, the garrulous Chief Minster of West Bengal who is known to blame everything from bad weather to potholes in south Kolkata roads on CPI(M) and its perceived comrades, the Naxalites, seems to have found a new target to vent her ire upon. This time the unfortunate victims of her frequent and high pitched wrath are the social workers and activists who appear as guests on certain local TV channels to discuss the rise in instances of rape in the state.
“Every evening, these people have juicy discussions about one or two incidents (of rape)…Children are getting to know about things they should not know about. Who are being called to the channels? Many of them are involved in pornography. They claim to be social workers but they are actually money workers,”.
Soon after she made these comments in a public rally in Burdwan, she faced severe criticism from all sections of the society, including from the ones she had just given a new career in the porn industry. What was startlingly evident to all was the fact that the esteemed Chief Minister seemed more interested in finding conspiracy theories everywhere than actually acknowledging that there was a problem in the state which needed attention.
The latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics attest the magnitude of the problem. With 30,942 cases of crimes against women reported in West Bengal in 2012, the state tops the list, closely followed by Andhra Pradesh (28,171) and Uttar Pradesh (23,569). With 2,000 cases of rapes registered in 2012 alone, West Bengal accounts for 12.67 percent of total crimes committed against women. Kolkata, the erstwhile “City of Joy” now holds the notorious distinction of being the third most unsafe city for women in the country, behind Delhi and Bangalore.
Mamata Banerjee however, seems barely perturbed by these disturbing figures. She seems to have ascended (or descended) into a realm where facts and figures count for nothing. They are but a blip in her radar, to be dismissed either as a conspiracy by CPI(M) or a story made up to malign her administration. If that doesn’t work, she pulls out the ace in her sleeve alleging that there is a conspiracy being hatched to kill her. The last point has nothing to do with rape but that’s how her mind seems to work- tell people someone is trying to kill you and people would be shocked into silence, refraining from making any more comments. She has done it once, she has done it twice and there is no reason why she won’t do it again.
There are certain people who, by virtue of their intelligence, have established such a place in the society that it’s hard to imagine them ever saying anything even remotely stupid. Like Stephen Hawking. And then there are others, those who are infamous for shooting their mouths off, dropping one ludicrous inanity after the other. Mamata Banerjee seems set to establish herself as the queen of the second group, becoming, in the process, a female version of Lalu Prasad Yadav, equally infamous for his idiocy riddled gaffes. If only people found it funny.